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ABS Festival & Academy
"The Glorious Court of Dresden"

AUGUST 3–12 2018


The 9th annual ABS Festival & Academy will take place August 3–12, 2018 in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco’s Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church. Each summer festival focuses on a different aspect of the world of Baroque music, and for 2018 ABS Artistic Director Jeffrey Thomas has chosen the music of Germany with a particular emphasis on The Glorious Court of Dresden, known for the extraordinary quality of music that was composed for the Electors and Kings of Saxony who upheld the highest artistic and cultural standards for their subjects. Its splendid Baroque and Rococo architecture brought the city its nickname as the “Jewel Box,” and a distinguished roster of performers and composers made it one of Europe’s most important musical capitals. A full array of free events—including public master classes, lectures, concerts, and colloquia—complement the performances by American Bach Soloists in two exceptionally fine venues.

Festival Events

Saturday August 4 2018 8:00 p.m. • St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco

A stunning setting of “Dixit Dominus” by Vivaldi, recently discovered in Dresden, features some of the composer’s most pictorial musical imagery and what has become known as Vivaldi’s most brilliantly executed double fugue for chorus. Bach’s congratulatory cantata for the anniversary of the election of August III, Elector of Saxony, as King of Poland, first performed in October 1734 in the presence of the Elector, is a grand and flattering testimonial to the high esteem in which he was held by Bach. Trumpets, drums, a full Baroque orchestra, and chorus sing the praises of Dresden’s celebrated Elector.

Antonio Vivaldi: Dixit Dominus

Johann Sebastian Bach: “Preise dein glücke gesegnetes Sachsen” 

(Praise your good fortune, blessed Saxony)

Clara Rottsolk soprano • Judith Malafronte contralto

Matthew Hill tenor • William Sharp baritone

American Bach Choir • American Bach Soloists • Jeffrey Thomas conductor

Sunday August 5 2018 7:00 p.m. • St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco

Sunday August 12 2018 2:00 p.m. • San Francisco Conservatory of Music

American Bach Choir & ABS Academy Festival Orchestra

Jeffrey Thomas conductor

Thursday August 9 2018 7:30 p.m. • San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Friday August 10 2018 7:30 p.m. • San Francisco Conservatory of Music

American Bach Choir & ABS Academy Festival Orchestra

Jeffrey Thomas conductor

Saturday August 11 2018 8:00 p.m. • San Francisco Conservatory of Music

American Bach Soloists

featuring Max van Egmond baritone & Sandra Miller flute

Join the musicians of ABS and our phenomenally talented Academy members for ten days of the ABS Festival & Academy, voted "Best Festival" on San Francisco Classical Voice's Best of the Bay.

Festival performances take place in San Francisco's St. Mark's Lutheran Church

and in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Free Academy Events

The American Bach Soloists Academy—the educational component of the ABS Summer Bach Festival—offers advanced conservatory-level students and emerging professionals unique opportunities to study and perform Baroque music in a multi-disciplinary learning environment.

Academy-In-Action "Baroque Marathon"

Academy participants are featured exclusively in two days of Academy-in-Action Concerts offering chamber vocal and instrumental works by Baroque masters. (Free)

Public Colloquia

Annual engaging forums for performers and audience members alike explore a variety of topics centered on historical, artistic, and practical considerations of performing Baroque music today. (Free)

Lecture Series

Join the members of the American Bach Soloists Academy for a series of enlightening and informative public lectures presented by the Academy faculty on a wide range of subjects centered on Festival themes. (Free)

Master Class Series

The ABS Academy opens its doors to the public to witness the artistic transformations that make Master Classes so tremendously exciting, as performers and their master teachers share their knowledge and insights. (Free)